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The Savetz Stacks
May 23, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Gregg Squires, Atari Manager of Hardware Engineering Gregg Squires was a Manager of Hardware Engineering at Atari from 1982 through 1984, working from their New York office. He was project manager for Val, a cost-reduced version of the Atari 2600; and project manager for the Atari XL computer series. He was co-designer of the 65816 microprocessor architecture. Greg sent me a scan of an Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting handout dated January 1983. It's an impressive 45 pages and paints a clear...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 600XL, Atari 800XL, Atari 1200XL, Atari XL series,...
The Savetz Stacks
May 19, 2020 Kevin Savetz and Carrington Vanston
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The Gruesome Twosome take another vacation from Infocom to play a vintage text adventure written by none other than Kay himself back in the 1980s. From creative spellings to Playboy magazines, it's old school meets high school in Scavange! (Quack! Hiss!) Links: Download Scavange! Play Scavange! in browser Lobster Man From Mars Midnight Madness Stanley Sheff Kay interviews Paul Berker Weird City BBS Marina toilet paper commercial
Topics: text adventure, interactive fiction, podcast, Kevin Komix, Atari BASIC, Weird City BBS, Stanley...
Atari Historical Documents
May 15, 2020 Atari Institute for Educational Action Research
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Computers and Lifelong Learning: Changing the Face of Education by Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D., executive director of Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. February 1983 Ted called this the "progress/project report to our national Advisory Board"
Topics: Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, Atari, Ted Kahn
Atari Historical Documents
May 15, 2020 Atari Institute for Educational Action Research
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Atari in Action — Atari Institute for Educational Action Research newsletter v1n1, Fall 1982.
Topics: Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, Atari, Ted Kahn
Atari Historical Documents
May 15, 2020 Atari Institute For Educational Action Research
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Original brochure for Atari Institute For Educational Action Research. Copyright on the back says 1982. Ted Kahn, who scanned this from his files, says it's from 1981. I tend to believe him.
Topics: Atari, Atari Institute For Educational Action Research, Ted Kahn, Sherman Rosenfeld, Alan Kay,...
Atari Historical Documents
May 15, 2020 Sherman Rosenfeld
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Informal Learning and Computers, a working paper prepared for the Atari Institute for Education Action Research by Sherman Rosenfeld. September 1982 Atari Institute for Education Action Research Occasional Paper #1
Topics: Atari, Atari Institute for Education Action Research, Sherman B. Rosenfeld
Atari Historical Documents
May 14, 2020 Moshe D. Caspi
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1983 Caspi Towards Creative Self Education (Synopsis) by Moshe D. Caspi Professor Emeritus of Education from Hebrew University, Moshe D. Caspi,
Topic: Atari
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Rik Dickinson, Encore Video Productions Rik Dickinson is founder of Encore Video Productions, a company that rented Atari 8-bit computers to hotels for use as character generators. The computers would show information about the hotel on channel 2 of guests' televisions. This was part of a service that Encore offered to provide in-room movies that ran off videotapes. The tape machines ran on a timer, and when the movie ended, the video feed switched back to the text information displayed by the...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari character generator
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Youth Advisory Board: Tracey Cullinan This is the seventh in a series of episodes featuring the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, including Tracey Cullinan. Tracey worked as a salesperson at the ComputerLand store in Los Altos, California...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Cory Cullinan, Leola Wooldridge
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Atari Speed Reading: Karlyn Kamm and Brad Oltrogge The Atari Speed Reading software package was released by Atari in 1981. It was a self-paced program, for use with the Atari computer and a cassette drive, that promised to teach you to increase reading speed and comprehension with 30 days of practice. The package contained a workbook and five cassette tapes. This is an interview with two of the people who created the Atari Speed Reading package. Karlyn Kamm created the speed reading educational...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Gabriel Baum: Atari Conversational French and Spanish Gabriel Baum worked at Thorn EMI, where he managed the project to create two early language learning programs that were published by Atari: Conversational French and Conversational Spanish. (Atari's language learning series would also include Conversational German — Gabriel started that, but left Thorn EMI before that project was finished — and Conversational Italian.) After Thorn EMI, Gabriel moved to Mattel where he became one of the...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
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Craig Hickman, Atari Photography Software and Security System Craig Hickman was featured in the June 1982 edition of Atari Connection magazine for his photography software tools. "Craig has developed two programs written in Atari BASIC for use in his darkroom. One of the programs times the negative’s development, and the other monitors and times enlargements and the making of the positive prints." His Developing program could store up to 30 film processing combinations. "Once...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Connection magazine, darkroom...
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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James Hugard, Neanderthal Computer Things James Hugard was co-founder of Neanderthal Computer Things, a company that created just one product. "810 Turbo" was a hardware conversion board for the Atari 810 disk drive that promised true double density storage, and faster data reading and writing. The device, released in 1983, could be installed inside your 810 disk drive with "no jumpers, no soldering, no extra box." It cost $295. James wrote the firmware for the device. Check...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, 810 Turbo, Atari 810 disk drive
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Dennis Zander: Artworx, Hazard Run, Strip Poker   Dennis Zander was one of the founding partners of the software publishing company Artworx. He programmed a number of games and educational titles, including Hazard Run, Rings of the Empire, Monkeymath, Giant Slalom, Intruder Alert!, Monkeynews, and others. He collaborated with Roger Harnish on Artworx popular Strip Poker game. This interview took place on June 13, 2019. In it, we discuss Art Walsh, whom I previously interviewed. Atarimania's...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Artworx, azard Run, Rings of the...
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Bruce May, Unreleased Magic Castle Game In 1982 Bruce May created Magic Castle, a game for the Atari 800 computer. He finished the game but was unable to find a publisher for it, so hardly anyone played it. In October 2019 he sent me scans of his original documents regarding Magic Castle: his design notes, and even rejection letters from the three companies that he submitted the game to: Catalyst Technologies, Avalon Hill, and Origin Systems. He hasn't been able to find the floppy disks with...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Wolfgang Burger, President of Atari Bit Byter User Club Wolfgang Burger is the president and a founding member of the Atari Bit Byter User Club, the world's largest user group dedicated to the Atari 8-bit computer. The group was founded in 1985 in Herten, Germany. Today, the group has about 500 members from around the world. The group's quarterly magazine — still produced on an Atari computer — is almost certainly the longest continually published computer magazine anywhere. This...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Bit Byter User Club, Atari...
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Bruce Irvine, Atari VP of Software Bruce Irvine was Atari's Vice President of Software — heading the company's new computer software division — from September 1980 through approximately July 1982. Among other responsibilities, he oversaw Atari Program Exchange and the opening of Atari "software acquisition centers." After leaving Atari, he co-founded Mindset Corporation with Roger Badertscher. This interview took place on November 7, 2019. In it, Bruce mentions Steve Gerber, Fred...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX
The Savetz Stacks
May 14, 2020 Randy Kindig
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Andrew and John Lenz: Atari Still in Productive Use in Store It’s very difficult these days to find vintage computers still in productive use out in the wild.  Andrew and John Lenz have an Atari 8-bit still in use, at the time of this interview, in the picture framing department at Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz, CA, a store that sells art materials and custom framing services.  The Atari computer has over 200,000 hours of operational time. (That's on and in use!) Running a program written in...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, retrocomputers in retail
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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John Anderson: Rally Speedway and Arex John Anderson worked at Adventure International, where he coded several games: Eliminator, Rear Guard, and Sea Dragon for the Apple II, then Rally Speedway and Arex for the Atari 8-bits. This interview took place on May 22, 2019. In it, we discuss Scott Adams and Russ Wetmore,  both of whom I have previously interviewed. List of John's games at Atarimania John's web site ANTIC Interview 113 - Russ Wetmore ANTIC Interview 25 - Scott Adams, Adventure...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Adventure International, Scott...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Roy Goldman, Daisy-Dot   Roy Goldman was the creator of Daisy-Dot, a typesetting program for the Atari 8-bit computers which he published from about 1987-1990. There were three versions of Daisy-Dot, the original plus Daisy-Dot II and Daisy-Dot III. The earliest version was freeware, and later versions asked for payment for access to special features.   This interview took place on May 11, 2019. After we talked, Roy sent me scans of memorabilia from that time, see the links below for those....
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Daisy Dot
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Randy Kindig
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Philip Bouchard - MECC, The Oregon Trail Philip Bouchard spent over 30 years designing computer software, 18 of which were focused on educational software. He was the principal designer for the Apple II games The Oregon Trail and Number Munchers. The Oregon Trail is a computer game originally developed in 1971 and produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) in 1974. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life on...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Minnesota Educational Computing...
The Savetz Stacks
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George Morrison: Alpha Systems, Atari Software Protection Techniques books   George Morrison was founder of Alpha Systems, a company that produced many hardware and software products for the Atari computers, including The Parrot, and audio digitizer; MagniPrint II, a printing utility; and The Impersonator, hardware for copying cartridge-based programs; and other products. He was author of two books — Atari Software Protection Techniques and Advanced Atari Protection Techniques.   This...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Alpha Systems, Atari Software...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Randy Kindig
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Stan Gilbert, Tricky Tutorials Hello, and welcome to an interview-only episode of Antic, The Atari 8-bit computer podcast. Stan Gilbert worked for Educational Software (previously known as Santa Cruz Educational Software) in the early 80’s and developed several products in the Tricky Tutorial series for the Atari 8-bit computer line.  He later also worked for Apple. This interview took place July 29, 2017. Links: Antic Magazine August 1987 - Vol. 6 No. 4 ,...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
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Bruce Artwick: Flight Simulator II, Night Mission Pinball   Bruce Artwick was co-founder of SubLOGIC, and creator of the best-selling program, Flight Simulator II. FSII was first available for the Apple II, with versions released later for the TRS-80, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, and other platforms. His 1976 master's thesis, A Versatile Computer Generated Dynamic Flight Display, about creating a real-time flight simulator on the PDP-11, provided some of the early research for his flight...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Sublogic Flight Simulator II, Night...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Jon Williams: Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip   Jon Williams created several programs for the Atari 8-bit computers, including Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip, Atari Cassette Enhancer, and Linkword German.   This interview took place on August 6, 2018.   Jon on AtariAge   Atari Cassette Enhancer on AtariMania   Atarimania's list of Jon's games
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip, Atari...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
movies
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Carlos Reyes: Quick Menu, Rent Wars   Carlos Reyes wrote the game Rent Wars for the Atari 8-bit computers for First Star Software, which was never officially released but found its way onto the Internet years later. He also wrote Quick Menu, a 384-byte program that would display a menu of programs on a floppy disk and let the user choose one to run. The program was designed to fit into a floppy's three boot sectors, so it didn't eat into any of the usable space on the disk. The program was a...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, First Star Software
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Greg Gibbons, Automated Library II    Greg Gibbons was the creator of Automated Library II, software for running school libraries, which was available for the Atari 8-bit and Apple II computers.   There's an article about the software in the April 1985 issue of American Libraries:   “The Automated Library II is a bar-code circulation system that runs on the Atari line of microcomputers. The program, designed for school libraries circulating 30 to 500 items per day, checks books in and...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, computer library software, Apple...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Tom Snyder, educational software   Tom Snyder was the founder of Computer Learning Connection, which was later renamed to Tom Snyder Productions, a company that created many educational software titles for the school and home computer markets.   The company's home software included Agent USA and Bannercatch (published by Scholastic,) Halley Project (published by Mindscape,) Run For the Money (published by Scarborough Systems,) and In Search of the Most Amazing Thing (published by Spinnaker.)...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Computer Learning Connection, Tom...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Bob Ertl, REWRITE Word Processor   In 1987, Bob Ertl’s master's thesis was titled "Narrowing the Gap Between the Word Processing Needs of Teachers and the Capabilities of Word Processors for Atari 8-bit Computers." As part of that project, he created a word processor for the Atari computers, aimed at the needs of math teachers. The word processor is called REWRITE and was never widely available. It was only used by a handful of teachers.   Bob has released two versions of the word...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari word processor
The Savetz Stacks
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Ed Meyer, physical chemistry experiments with Atari computers   In the 1990s, Ed Meyer was a professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where he taught physical chemistry. In August 1990, The Journal of Chemical Education published his article, "An Inexpensive Computer Station for Undergraduate Laboratories Using the Atari 800XL" in which Ed showed how to interface the Atari controller ports with a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter chip to do chemistry experiments. (The article...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari 800XL
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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John Harris, APX Can’t Quit   John Harris published one program for the Atari computer: Can't Quit, a game that was published by Atari Program Exchange. Can't Quit first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog. It was the only program published by this John Harris — although he has the same name as the John Harris who created Jawbreaker (whom I previously interviewed.)   This interview took place on July 5, 2018.   Can't Quit at AtariMania   Can't Stop at BoardGameGeek   ANTIC...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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David Young, Omnimon   David Young was the creator of Omnimon, the popular hardware monitor/debugger for the Atari 8-bit computers. His other products included DiskScan, a floppy disk utility; Supermon, the predecessor to Omnimon; Omnicom, a terminal program; and Omniview, an 80 column E: handler.    This interview took place on June 11, 2018. In it, we discuss Wes Newell, whom I previously interviewed.    "The IBM PC came out. I looked at it really hard. ... And I thought, 'You know,...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari hardware, Wes Newell, Newell...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Rockie "RJ" Morgan, APX Piano Tuner   Rockie “RJ" Morgan published one program through Atari Program Exchange: Piano Tuner, which first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog.   This interview took place on June 5, 2018.   Piano Tuner in the summer 1983 APX catalog   Piano Tuner at AtariMania   Unix: An Open Systems Dictionary
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX
The Savetz Stacks
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Michael McInerney, physics experiments with Atari computers    In the 1980s, Michael McInerney was a professor in the physics department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, when he wrote several journal articles about how to control experiments and gather data using Atari computers.    The articles included Interfacing the Atari Microcomputer in the Science Laboratory, which appeared in the spring 1983 issue of Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching; Game Port Physics...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Norm Draper, Draper Pascal   Norm Draper was the creator of Draper Pascal, a version of the Pascal programming language for the Atari 8-bit computers. Draper Pascal started as a commercial program sold directly though advertisements in computer magazines, then later became shareware.   This interview took place on July 3, 2018.   "I offered club members to pay them for every bug they would find in my software. I'd pay them $3. ... There were a few. I didn't have to pay out that much...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Pascal programming language
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Brooke Alderson, Atari TV Commercials   Brooke Alderson was an actor in the 1980s and 1990s: she appeared in several television shows including Murder, She Wrote and Family Ties; and is perhaps best known for her role as Aunt Corene in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. She also appeared in many TV commercials. She did a 30-second spot for Atari home computers, and was featured on Atari's in-store point-of-purchase laserdisc.   In the commercial, Brooke played the part of a mom who is teased by her...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, actor, Atari commercial
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
movies
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Dennis Koble: APX Avalanche, Imagic   Dennis Koble was an early Atari employee, where we would become manager of the computer and consumer divisions. He designed Atari's "Touch Me" handheld electronic game. He also wrote three programs that were published by Atari Program Exchange: Avalanche, an adaption of the coin-op game which he also created; and the text adventure games Chinese Puzzle and Sultan's Palace.    He was at Atari for about 4 1/2 years before leaving to co-found the...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, APX, Avalanche, Imagic, Atari...
The Savetz Stacks
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Joe Hellesen: Deluxe Invaders, Pac Man, PQ: The Party Quiz Game Joe Hellesen programmed the Atari 8-bit versions of Deluxe Invaders (published by Roklan), and Pac Man (published by Atari,) Gyruss (published by Parker Brothers), and Mickey in the Great Outdoors (published by Disney.) He also coded PQ: The Party Quiz Game (for SunCom.)   This interview took place on April 14, 2018.   AtariMania's list of Joe's software   ANTIC Interview 265 - Ronald Borta, Roklan Software   ANTIC Interview...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari programmer, Pac Man
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Stephen Romejko: APX Melt-Down, Moon Marauder   Stephen Romejko published two games through Atari Program Exchange: Melt-Down and Moon Marauder. Melt-Down was first available in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog. Moon Marauder was first available in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it won third prize in the consumer category.   This interview took place on April 14, 2018.   "Melt-Down was causing some special issues ... Apparently the American Nuclear Society took offense to it. ......
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, APX, Melt-Down, Moon Marauder,...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Allan Moose, Atari Assembly Language Programmer's Guide   Allan Moose was co-author of the book Atari Assembly Language Programmer's Guide, which was published by Weber Systems in 1986. He wrote the book with his wife and writing partner, Marian Lorenz. She passed away in 1992. The two also wrote many articles for Antic and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazines.  Their articles included many about display list interrupts and vertical blank interrupts, and pretty mathematical graphics routines. ...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari book, 6502 assembly language,...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Larry Breakwell, Toronto Atari Programmers Society Larry Breakwell was founder of the Toronto West Atari Computer Support Group, then president of the Toronto Atari Programmers Society, which was the largest Atari user group in Canada. He adapted the Atari version of the book " Academy on Computers Hands-On Atari 400/800 Beginner's Manual " from a version of the book focused on the Commodore PET. These beginners manuals were part of the Academy on Computers, a self-directed learning...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Toronto West Atari Computer Support...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Mike Sandau, Atari-CB Radio Hacking   In the mid-1980s, Mike Sandau and his friend connected their Atari 8-bit computers to their citizens band radios to create a small radio-telephone computer network. Their "DIALOG" project combined the radio hardware with custom software (first in Atari BASIC, then later in Action!) to allow chatting, broadcasting messages, and binary file transfers over the air.   Mike has uploaded the software, source code, and screenshots to the Internet...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, citizens band radio, CB radio
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Charlie Kulas: Musical Pilot, UpN Down   Charlie Kulas published Musical Pilot, an educational game, through Atari Program Exchange. Musical Pilot first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded third prize in the Learning category. He later worked at McT (AKA Microcomputer Technologies), a company that was contracted to program games by Sega. There he programmed the game UpN Down for the Atari 8-bit computers.   This interview took place on April 20, 2018.   Musical Pilot...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, APX, Atari Program Exchange,...
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Atari Youth Advisory Board: Yoon Park   This is the sixth in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. This time, I got to talk with Yoon Park.   In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, including Yoon.   Before these interviews, I...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
software
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Scavange: a text adventure game for the Atari 8-bit computer, written in Atari BASIC, with a spelling error right there in the title. I wrote this game circa 1988. It was on floppy disk of Atari computer games that I wrote in middle-to-high school. It's a scavenger hunt that I wrote for use by callers to Weird City BBS (I still remember the number: 213-273-5234.) I don't know if anyone ever played it. The game doesn't have a traditional parser because I was lazy and/or didn't know how to...
Topics: text adventure game, Atari 8-bit, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Atari Youth Advisory Board: Musa Mustafa   This is the fifth in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. If you're just joining us: In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 kids, aged 14 though 18, from around the U.S. to share their opinions about computers, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events.    This is an interview with Musa Mustafa, who was one of those kids.    A March 25, 1983 article in the Santa...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Youth Advisory Board: Robert Allbritton   This is the fourth episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. Robert Allbritton was one of the 20 kids who, in 1983, were accepted into the Youth Advisory Board, a group of teenagers who were able to take a trip to Atari's headquarters in California, enjoy free 1200XL computers, and he even got to work at Atari's booth at the Consumer Electronics Show.   Robert was, and still is, friends with John Dickerson,...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Youth Advisory Board
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
movies
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Youth Advisory Board: Anneke Wyman   This is the second episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board.    In 1982-1983, Atari invited 20 kids, aged 14-18, to be on its new Youth Advisory Board. Atari was looking for well-rounded, computer-literate kids, with equal representation of sexes and a mix of ethnic groups. Anneke Wyman (now Anneke Wyman de Boer) was one of those kids.   A wire service article about the Youth Advisory Board, by Kathy Holub, ran in...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Youth Advisory Board
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Youth Advisory Board: John Dickerson   This is the third episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. A quick recap: In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, mostly regular kids, some computer geeks, and a couple of celebrities.   This...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Youth Advisory Board
The Savetz Stacks
May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Youth Advisory Board: Kerrie Holton and Tina Bartschat   This is the first in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board.    In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions, test new software, and promote Atari's computers at trade shows.   The group consisted primarily of regular kids - some computer geeks, but most well-rounded teenagers. The group also included a couple...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Tina Bartschat, Kerrie Holton, Tina...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Hal Segal, Association of Time-Sharing Users   Hal Segal was founder and president of the Association of Time-Sharing Users, and the Association of Small Computer Users, and several other groups dedicated to early computer systems. The Association of Time-Sharing Users was formed in 1974: it published a newsletter, which Hal wrote, as well as directories of terminals, applications, database management systems, and so on. Group members held meetings in various cities around the United States....
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Association of Small Computer...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Steve Englehart, Atari Advanced Games Group   Steve Englehart worked in the Advanced Games Group of Atari, where he developed ideas for new computer games. He was the designer of E.T. Phone Home!, Final Legacy, and Garfield for the Atari 8-bit machines, and worked on several unfinished games. He wrote the manual for Eastern Front: 1941.   This interview took place on November 17, 2017.    Steve's web site   ANTIC Interview 67 - Ted Richards, Atari Connection Magazine
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Jack Smyth, The Learning Company and Add-On Software   Jack Smyth was the first CEO of The Learning Company, the educational software publisher best known for Reader Rabbit and Rocky's Boots. He was also involved with Add-On Software, a company that sold CP/M software for several computer platforms, including the Atari 8-bit line. The company built a hardware card, for use with the Atari 1090XL peripheral expansion box, that would have added CP/M functionality to Atari computers. That device...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, The Learning Company, Add-On...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Bryan Talbot, APX Cartoonist   Bryan Talbot published one program for the Atari computer: Cartoonist, which was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded first prize in the systems/telecommunications category.   This interview took place on December 8, 2017.   "I was just trying to contemplate what to do, and finally — I'd been going to all the missionary classes and I did the thing that they taught us to do. I just knelt...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, APX, Atari Program Exchange
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Dwight Johnson, Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts   Dwight Johnson was founder of Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts, a users group based in Waukegan, IL. He started the group in April 1983. The group still exists today as a general PC computer users group, and is now called Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts.   This interview took place on April 12, 2018.   Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari user group, users groups
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Colin Hume, Computer War   Colin Hume worked at Thorn EMI for about a year, where he programmed one game for the Atari 8-bit computers: Computer War. Computer War was based on the 1983 movie War Games.   Thomas Cherryhomes joined us to ask Colin some questions of his own.   This interview took place on April 12, 2018.   "Of course it was so totally different. There was no specification, no one ever checked through your code. There was no documentation. There was no maintenance."...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Thorn EMI, War Games movie, game...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Matthew McGinley, Elite Personal Accountant   Matthew McGinley was the creator and publisher of Elite Personal Accountant, financial management software for the Atari computer. He released it in mid-1985 after working on it for several years.   The review of Elite Personal Accountant by Stephen Roquemore in Antic magazine said, "This new program from a small company has just about every capability built into it that anyone could dream up. And the manual is one of the finest I have ever...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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Cynde Moya, Collections Manager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs   Cynde Moya is Collections Manager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs. Located in Seattle, Washington, Living Computers is a computer museum that provides hands-on experiences using computers ranging from micros to mainframes. (Last time I was there, there was a Xerox Alto, an Apple I, and yes, an Atari 400 with a number of game carts, plus big iron like a Control Data 6500 and DEC PDP-10 - all those machines and more usable...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, computer museum
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Mike Matthews, Alien Group Voice Box   Voice Box was a external speech synthesizer box for the Atari 400 and 800. Voice Box, and its successor Voice Box II, was marketed by "The Alien Group" starting in July 1982. The device used the Votrax SC-01A speech synthesizer chip to add speech and singing to the Atari. Versions were also available for the Commodore 64 and Apple II computers.   The Alien Group was actually an offshoot of Electro-Harmonix.  Electro-Harmonix  was founded by...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, speech synthesis, voice synthesis,...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Winchell Chung, Avalon Hill games   Winchell Chung worked at Avalon Hill computer games, where he was the Atari 8-bit computer programmer. He worked on Nuke War, B-1 Nuclear Bomber, Free Trader, Paris in Danger, and Vorrak. His best known game is probably Gulf Strike.   This interview took place on April 10, 2018.   "A good game with lousy graphics doesn't sell, but a lousy game with great graphics will."   Atarimania's list of Winchell's games   Winchell on Twitter   Atomic...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Avalon Hill games, Nuke War, B-1...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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William "Ted" Farmer, Eastern Front (1941) Scenarios   Ted Farmer created one product for the Atari 8-bit computers, with an unwieldy name: “Eastern Front (1941) Scenarios For 1942, 1943, 1944". The disk of add-on scenarios for Eastern Front 1941 first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, alongside Chris Crawford's Eastern Front (1941) scenario editor, the program that Ted used to create the scenarios.   This interview took place on January 27, 2018.   Teaser quote:...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Eastern Front 1941, APX, Atari...
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Douglas Wilder, Ultimate Renumber Utility   Douglas Wilder published one program though Atari Program Exchange, Ultimate Renumber Utility, which he co-wrote with his father, Justin Wilder. It first appeared in the winter 1981 APX catalog, but was featured in the catalog for less than a year: in the winter 1982 catalog, it was replaced by BASIC/XA, which did renumbering as well as other functions for programmers.   This interview took place on January 26, 2018.   Teaser quote: "So we got...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX....
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May 13, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Jerry Horanoff, Carina BBS Software   Jerry Horanoff was the creator of the Carina bulletin board system software for the Atari 8-bit computers, and later, Carina II.    The October 1986 issue of ANTIC Magazine wrote: "This expandable, module-based bulletin board software package is written in understandable BASIC and includes XMODEM upload/download transfer protocol, message editor with word processor-like functions and a total of 44 commands, including 17 sysop functions. It operates...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, BBS, computer bulletin board system
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz, Joe Decuir, David Crane
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Atari 800 series computers: 40 years On Saturday, October 19, 2019 I had the privilege of taking part in a panel at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. The session was titled "Atari 800 series computers: 40 years." The panelists were Joe Decuir, one of the hardware designers of the Atari 400 and 800; David Crane, who was one of the developers of the Atari's operating system before he famously left Atari to co-found Activision; and myself, Kevin Savetz. The session was attended by roughly...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Portland Rerto Gaming Expo, Joe...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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This is ANTIC, the Atari 8-bit podcast. I’m Kevin Savetz.   I love old computers. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you knew that already. I also love musical theater. So when I found out about Bits & Bytes, a 1983 musical about computers — well, that’s right in my wheelhouse.    Bits & Bytes was an educational touring production, created by South Coast Repertory Theater, a professional theatre company located in Costa Mesa, California. It was a 45-minute...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, musical theater, educational play,...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Rawson Stovall, The Vid Kid newspaper column   As you no doubt gleaned from the clips of his appearances on CBS Morning News and The Tonight Show, Rawson Stovall was only a child when he started writing a syndicated newspaper column in which he reviewed computer games and home video games. The column, called Vid Kid, appeared in 20 newspapers around the United States. He was in fact the first nationally syndicated reviewer of video games in the country.   He is author of The Vid Kid's Book of...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Chris James, Thorn EMI   Chris James worked at Thorn EMI, where he was a programmer and later a project manager. Later he founded James Software, which specialized in game conversions to various computer platforms. His long list of Atari game credits includes Darts, Tank Commander, and several jigsaw puzzle games such as European Scene Jigsaw Puzzles and Hickory Dickory Dock.   He is also the husband of Hanan Samara, whom I interviewed previously, and whom you can hear providing color...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Thorn EMI, Atari game programmer
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Hanan Samara: Jumbo Jet Pilot and Jinn Genie   Hanan Samara was a programmer at Thorn EMI, where her work included programming the game Jumbo Jet Pilot. Later she founded Dalali Software, a company that specialized in converting games to various computer platforms. There she created the Atari computer game Jinn Genie.   This interview took place on November 13, 2017.   Her husband, Chris James, can be heard in the background, and is the subject of my next interview.   Teaser quote: "We...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Thorn EMI, flight simulator, Dalali...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Geoffrey Card, kid game reviewer   In my interview with Orson Scott Card, he mentioned that his son, Geoffrey, helped him review Atari games — thoroughly playing games, then providing a sort of executive summary for his dad, who then wrote about the games for Compute! magazine. I thought it would be fun to get Geoffrey's perspective about that time.   This interview took place on January 19, 2018.   Teaser quote: "One of the interesting, great things about that era was the fact that...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Orson Scott Card, video game...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Orson Scott Card, Compute! Books   Orson Scott Card is a Hugo Award winning, best-selling science fiction author, perhaps best known for his 1985 novel, Ender's Game.    But we're not here to talk about that — because for about nine months, Orson Scott Card was an editor at Compute! Books, where we worked on several books about the Atari 8-bit and other computer platforms. His work appears in Compute!'s Third Book of Atari and Compute!'s Second Book of Atari Graphics.   He also wrote...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Compute! Books, computer books,...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Maurice Molyneaux, Atari animation guru   Maurice Molyneaux was a game artist, Atari graphics animator, and writer. He wrote articles for Video Games & Computer Entertainment Magazine and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing Magazine, and wrote "The Animation Stand" column for ST-Log magazine.   He created many animations primarily using MovieMaker, an animation program for the Atari published by Reston Publishing.   This interview took place on November 20, 2017.   Teaser quote: "[Lee...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, computer animation
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Databar OSCAR   This is a story about the rise and fall of a compter peripheral and the company behind it. The company was Databar, and the product was called OSCAR, which was short for Optical SCAnning Reader.   In 1983, it wasn't easy to get inexpensive software for your home computer. Floppy disks were expensive. Modems were slow and expensive. You could get software in magazines — a variety of computer magazines offered computer program listings that you could type in. You might spend...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Optical SCAnning Reader, computer...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Robert Jaeger, Montezuma's Revenge   Robert Jaeger is best known in the Atari community as the programmer of the popular game Montezuma's Revenge, which was published by Parker Brothers in 1984. He also programmed Chomper, published by MMG Micro Software; and Pinhead, published by Robert's own company, Utopia Software.   This interview took place on December 2, 2017.   Digital Press interview with Robert   Montezuma's Revenge group on Facebook   AtariMania's list of Robert's games   Gary...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Tay Vaughan, Atari Connection and Antic magazines   Tay Vaughan used Atari computers in his school for maritime skills and as a marine surveyor. He was featured in that capacity in a 1983 Atari catalog "Atari Home Computers — The Next Generation." Next, he was hired by Atari and was an editor of The Atari Connection magazine, where he wrote the Bits & Pieces column. Later, Tay was senior editor at Antic magazine, and he edited the book The Best of Atari Software, published by...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Antic magazine, Atari Connection...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Linda Schreiber: T.H.E.S.I.S. Software and author   Linda Watson-Call is better known to Atari users as Linda Schreiber, which was her name at that time. Linda was the founder of T.H.E.S.I.S. Software, an educational software publisher for the Atari 8-bit and Apple II computers. The company was best known for her game, Big Math Attack. She wrote several books about the Atari 8-bit computers: Atari Programming with 55 Programs, Advanced Programming Techniques for your Atari, and Atari Fun &...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Big Math Attack, Atari Programming...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Richard Taylor, Digital Devices Corporation   Richard Taylor was an employee of Digital Devices Corporation. DDC built a number of adapters for the Atari 8-bit computers — it's most well-known product was probably APE-FACE, an inexpensive ($90) device that connected the Atari's SIO port to standard parallel printers. The company's other products included UPRINT, a printing buffer; and the Ape-Link Serial Peripheral Input/Output Expansion Cable.   Richard's job? He said in an AtariAge...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, UPRINT, Ape-Link, APE FACE, Atari...
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Dave Comstock: E.T. Phone Home!, Superman III, Cloak & Dagger   Dave Comstock worked at Atari from 1980 through 1984, first as a software and hardware tester, then as a programmer. Dave worked on three games for the Atari 8-bit computers: E.T. Phone Home!, Superman III, and Cloak and Dagger.   This interview took place on November 8, 2017.   "He said 'We've got to go out tonight, and it has to be a comedy.' ... He's like, 'I have something to tell you, and if I tell you we could...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, E.T. Phone Home!, Superman III,...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Sarah Haskell, Computerized Weaving   There's a column in the November 1983 issue of Family Computing magazine, by Jon Zonderman: "Home Business — Compute, Control, and Create. A weaver combines the traditional skills of her craft with a computer and reaps more than one reward."    The article is about Sarah Haskell, a weaver who used an Atari computer to design patterns for weaving, and also to computer-control her loom.    [Excerpts from the article.]   My interview with...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Randall Lockwood, Choose-A-Pooch   There's an article in the August 1984 issue of Family Computing magazine, by Bill Camarda —  Behind The Screens: Family Dog . It's about Choose-A-Pooch, an Atari computer program created by Dr. Randall Lockwood, to help match people with the breed of dog that will work best in their living situation.   I interviewed Dr. Lockwood on November 10, 2017.   "Trying to get away from the fact that people were often choosing dogs based more on just...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, choosing dog breeds
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Frank Schwartz and Richard Lewis, Virtusonics   Last last year, I received a batch of Atari disks. One of the disks was labeled Virtuoso Play Mode Sampler — a music demonstration disk from Virtusonics, a company I had never heard of.   Thanks to some old articles in Antic magazine, I learned a bit about the product and the company. In 1985, Nat Friedland first  wrote about the Virtuoso software : "Virtuoso is such a unique new approach to musicmaking that it's not easy to describe....
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, music software
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Paul Wehner, APX Saratoga   Paul Wehner created one program for the Atari 8-bit computer, Saratoga, which was published by Atari Program Exchange. The American revolutionary war game first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it won second prize in the Entertainment category.   This interview took place on October 24, 2017.   Paul's game list at AtariMania   Saratoga in the fall 1983 APX catalog
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Alan Reeve, Reeve Software   Alan Reeve is the founder of Reeve Software, a company that stated in 1984, creating software for the Atari 8-bit computers. Reeve Software published a variety of applications including Diamond GOS, News Station and News Station Companion, Publishing Pro, The Business Manager, and Diamond Write. The company's games included Battle Tank, Bomber, Castle Attack, Space Hunt, and Star Intruder.   This interview took place on October 14, 2017.   Diamond GOS...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Reeve Software
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Guy Ferrante, S&S Wholesalers and Star BBS   Guy Ferrante worked for S&S Wholesalers, a Miami Florida-based computer mail order company, where he was in charge of creating magazine advertisements and managing the warehouse. He also ran Star BBS, a bulletin board system based in South Florida, for 11 years.   This interview took place on August 25, 2017.   "There's merchandise all over the place. I can't even walk in there. I'm stepping on the merchandise. ... And I said, 'Sandy,...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, BBS, computer bulletin board system
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May 12, 2020 Randy Kindig
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Ben Heck - Internet Celebrity and Console Modder Benjamin J. Heckendorn (aka Ben Heck) is an American console modder and Internet celebrity. He is the star of element14's The Ben Heck Show, a popular online TV program.  It also turns out that he grew up with the Atari 8-bit line of computers and has built a couple of mods involving the Atari line. This interview took place on April 13, 2017. Book: “Hacking Video Game Consoles: Turn Your Old Video Game Systems Into Awesome New Portables” -...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Jim Schuyler, Founder of DesignWare   Jim Schuyler was Founder of DesignWare. Founded in 1980, Designware created educational software that was published by other companies — including SRA, Xerox, and Spinnaker — as well as software that it published under its own label. Designware's titles included Creature Creator, Grammar Examiner, Mission: Algebra, Spellicopter, and Trap-a-Zoid, among others. Jim programmed Story Machine himself, which was published by Spinnaker Software. Designware...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Designware
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Dan Pinal: Alternate Reality - The Dungeon, Atari Graphics and Arcade Game Design   Dan Pinal contributed to the book Atari Graphics and Arcade Game Design, with Jeff Stanton, a book published by Arrays in 1984. He was one of the programmers of Alternate Reality - The Dungeon, which was published by Datasoft in 1987. He also created the game Stargate Courier, published by COSMI; and worked on the Atari port of Goonies for Datasoft.   This interview took place on September 1, 2017.  ...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Alternate Reality
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Dan Reinhart, Yahtman   Dan Reinhart published one program for the Atari 8-bit computers: Yahtman, a Yahtzee-style game that was published by Atari Program Exchange. Yahtman first appeared in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog.   This interview took place on August 28, 2017. In it, we discuss Paul Cubbage, whom I previously interviewed.   "Paul [Cubbage] had said, 'You know, you have good potential at this sort of thing but you really need to choose: are you going to keep building earth...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, APX, Atari Program Exchange,...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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David Seuss, co-founder of Spinnaker Software   This interview is with David Seuss, co-founder of Spinnaker Software. Spinnaker was one of the first companies to focus exclusively on educational software. Spinnaker's software line-up included Snooper Troops, Delta Drawing, FaceMaker, Adventure Creator, In Search of the Most Amazing Thing, KinderComp, and many other titles.   This interview took place on September 11, 2017.   Teaser quotes:   "We invented the educational software...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Spinnaker Software
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Hal Glicksman, Datamost   Hal Glicksman was head of the book division at Datamost.   In two years from 1982 to 1984, Datamost was one of largest publishers of computer books. In 1983 alone, Datamost published over 40 titles and shipped 100,000 books per month. Their Atari books included Atari Roots, Kids and the Atari, ABCs of Atari Computers, and The Elementary Atari. Hal himself wrote The Musical Atari, Games Ataris Play, and The Musical Commodore.    Datamost also published software: the...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Datamost
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Lee Konowe, American Software Club   Lee Konowe was founder of American Software Club, a mail-order software company. American Software Club sold software for CP/M, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80, Apple II, IBM PC, Commodore 64, and other platforms. It started out with a sort of Columbia House "software of the month" model, where you automatically received a "choice of the month" software package each month — which you could keep and pay for, or return at no cost. Later the company...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, American Software Club, software of...
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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James Burton, APX Drawit   James Burton published one program for the Atari 8-bit computers: Drawit, a graphics utility that was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded first prize in the personal development category.     This interview took place on August 24, 2017.   "Many hours. Many, many hours. Late at night, don;t want to go to sleep. Just plugging at the computer."   Drawit in the summer 1983 APX catalog...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari Program Exchange, APX
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May 12, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Patricia Mitchell, Thorn EMI   Patricia Mitchell started at Thorn EMI in 1981.  She worked in the home computer software division, evaluating software that had been submitted by programmers.    Thorn EMI published many games for the Atari 8-bit computers, including River Rescue, Carnival Massacre, Orc Attack, Kickback, Submarine Commander, Computer War, and Jumbo Jet Pilot.   Later she worked at Virgin Games.   This interview took place on April 27, 2017.   In it, we talk a little about...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800
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May 11, 2020 Brad Arnold, Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz
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ANTIC Episode 67 - Still Socially Distant In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast...Randy forgets to call the artist, formerly known as Kevin, as Kay about 100 times, we continue discussion on AtariFests and World of Atari, we help you with your free time by telling you about papercraft computers and RetroPie, and help you navigate what’s happening with vintage computer shows; plus a whole lot more Atari news! What We’ve Been Up To Carol Shaw’s Colleen Calculator - View...
Topics: Atari podcast, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari 1200XL, Atari XE, Atari XL
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May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Lance Leventhal, Author of Assembly Language Books   Lance Leventhal wrote 25 computer books, spanning 1978 through 1992. His books include  6502 Assembly Language Programming, 6502 Assembly Language Subroutines, Z80 Assembly Language Programming, Z80 Assembly Language Subroutines, 6800 Assembly Language Programming, 6809 Assembly Language Programming, and Why Do You Need a Personal Computer?   This interview took place on August 25, 2017.   "Be careful about avoiding sidetracks. Don't...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Assembly Language programming,...
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May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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John Skruch, Atarisoft   John Skruch worked at Atari from 1982, under Warner Communications, all through the Tramiel era, until 1998 when the company was owned by JTS.   During that time, he was operations manager for Atarisoft, the arm of Atari that produced software for competing computer systems; software product manager for the 8-bit computer line; and director of licensing. He was involved wth the design and development of the XM301 modem, and the Atari Lynx game system.   This...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atarisoft
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May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Tom Hunt, Closer to Home BBS   Tom Hunt ran an Atari BBS called Closer to Home for 28 years. He also created a variety of utilities for the Atari 8-bit computers, including M.T.O.S. (Multi-Tasking Operating System), and The Armorizer (a file corruption detector). He created several languages including Atari implementations of the Brainfork and Mouse programming languages, and forks of Atari BASIC and Turbo BASIC with various feature additions. He also built a system for porting Inform 5 and...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, sysop, bulletin board system, BBS
The Savetz Stacks
May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, John Weisgberber, Antic magazine games   Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, and John Weisgberber are childhood friends who published three games in Antic magazine: Kooky's Quest was published in the February 1985 issue; Overflow in July 1985; and Robot Dungeon was the "disk bonus" in the November 1985 issue. They also wrote several other games in Atari BASIC — some of which they submitted to Compute! and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazines - that went...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Antic magazine
The Savetz Stacks
May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Harry Stewart, Pilot and WSFN   Harry Stewart was a contractor for Atari from August 1978 through October 1983. He contributed to the operating system design and the manuals for the Atari 400 and 800; created the Atari implementation of the WSFN language (which was released in the first Atari Program Exchange catalog, summer 1981). He worked on Atari's PILOT programming language and the unreleased sequel, Super PILOT (also known as Summer Camp PILOT.)   Harry saved an enormous amount of...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, WSFN programming language, PILOT...
The Savetz Stacks
May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision   Carol Shaw was a software engineer at Atari from August 1978 though 1980. She programmed for the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers. She programmed on 3-D Tic Tac Toe for the Atari 800 and 2600; and the math application Calculator. She worked on Video Checkers, Othello, and Super Breakout for the 2600. She also co-wrote the Atari BASIC Reference Manual. Carol joined Activision in 1982, where she created the hit game River Raid, which she programmed for the...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari 2600, 3-D Tic Tac Toe, River...
The Savetz Stacks
May 11, 2020 Kevin Savetz
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Merl Miller, dilithium Press   Merl Miller was co-founder of dilithium Press, a publisher of computer books that was in business from 1977 through 1986. Merl was co-author of Computers for People (with Jerry Willis), a book that heavily features Atari 8-bit computers; and Things to Do With Your Atari Computer (with Jerry Willis and Nancy Morrice) as well as several other books about other types of personal computers. dilithium Press also published An Atari for Kids, An Atari in the Classroom,...
Topics: interview, computer history, Atari 8-bit, Atari 400, Atari 800, computer book publisher